Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012 10:59:06 PM
In 2013, I will continue my work in the two areas of human wellbeing and animal rights. My interest in health manifests itself in the yoga and dance class that I designed and taught to special needs children. My passion for humanitarianism is embodied in the many donations that I collected for Russian orphans and the two summer trips that I took in order to help them directly. This work continues with the pen pal program that I am currently installing in my school, in which students from my school will communicate with the Russian orphans through art, which transcends all barriers that might inhibit friendships between these children. My respect for animals manifests itself in the vegan diet that I have maintained and promoted for three years and the work that I have done with the Dolphin Dance Project, an initiative in which Dr. Hidaka of the Hospital for Special Surgery and her team dance with wild dolphins in order to promote awareness of the creative arts, marine biology, and the environment. By continuing my work in these things, I hope to demonstrate the importance of improving the wellbeing of all living creatures. It is imperative that we bridge gaps between beings who walk completely different paths of life. At the same time, we must respect the lives of the animals with whom we share our earth. Only then can we reach our full potential to become more empathetic and compassionate beings ourselves.
Environmental, cultural, social, political and economic issues plague our world. The natural attitude of the youth is to defy the traditions and behaviors that bind us. How do these two statements connect? As the next generation that will lead the world, we teenagers have an irrevocable responsibility to do everything we can to make the world a better place. In order to do this, it is imperative that we ask why. We must challenge every social norm that influences our behavior – one of the most prominent being indifference. We must reevaluate social norms, and if we find them unfair, ineffective or harmful, we must change our behavior. Why should I be content with the fact that special needs children cannot take normal yoga and dance classes when I could create individualized classes for them? Why would I be complacent with the abandonment of so many children, when I could spend my summers talking with, playing with and teaching them? Why should I allow obstacles such as language to hinder children of different walks of life from communicating and forming lasting friendships? Why would I continue to eat animal products, knowing that they have terrible moral, health and environmental effects? Why should I accept people’s ignorance to the threats that face the marine environment, when I could wake them up by helping to create artwork in the form of film that depicts humans interacting with the very creatures whom our environmental disrespect affects?